Daily Devotional for Sunday October 16, 2005
Death is Part of our Human Experience
DEATH has dominated the news for the past few weeks, making this Devotional today most appropriate. Also, let me relate a personal experience. A few months ago, my wife and I were going out to eat dinner. We were driving about 50 mph on an overpass and all of a sudden from nowhere a chunk of concrete the size of a football hit my windshield with tremendous force. Amazingly it didn't cause me to have an accident, my wife and I were OK, and the windshield was even not damaged. As I replayed the incident, I remembered seeing for a split second the piece of concrete appear out of nowhere right before it hit my windshield. Apparently a car on the freeway below the overpass we were on had ran over the concrete and sent it flying like a missile, kind of like how you flip a quarter. We were grateful to God for keeping us safe, but it only shows how fragile this life is, and how it can end in a split second when you least expect it.
Several times a year, I try to help you focus on the fact that death is a very real part of our journey in this life and is an event we will all experience one day. That is why it is an issue that we can't run and hide from but needs to addressed. The fact is, by addressing death, it helps us to be much more focused and productive in our day to day lives. It helps us to better know the peace, joy, and abundance of these few years, while making us better servants of the Lord.
The one reality everyone who lives must face is that one day they will die. This is a fact everyone comes to understand at some point in their life regardless of their beliefs. Understanding death, accepting it as a part of this human experience, gives a person an incredible freedom and peace. The fear of death comes from the unknown. That is why God deals with death throughout the Bible. He does His best to help people understand what death is all about, not just to prepare them for that event in their life, but so they can have the most abundant and fruitful life possible.
Of course the first question in talking about death is when will it happen. God gave us this life and only God knows when it will end. The length of our life is solely left up to God. Of course He has given us free will. We can exercise that free will and take our life, but that is NOT God's plan and we are in rebellion to Him when we commit suicide. Again, it was God who gave us our life, and it is only God who has the right to take it. The Bible clearly teaches us in James chapter 4 that tomorrow is promised to none of us. Each day is a gift from God. While it is prudent and good sense to plan for the future, we must never lose sight that today is the only day we can be sure of. So in talking about when will we die, we must have the faith and assurance that only God knows for certain when that time is and today is the only day we can be sure of.
The next questions of course are where will I go and what will death be like. The Bible is clear on our eternal destination. Those who know Christ as their Savior will be forever "with God" in Heaven and those who reject Christ, will be forever "separated from God" in Hell. While the Bible gives us glimpses into Heaven and Hell, it is impossible with our finite minds to even begin to comprehend what they will be like. One thing we do know, these will not be "places" as we know them since we will be in a spiritual state, no longer bound by space/time. Since in that state the reference points we used during this brief journey will no longer exist, God has done His best to give us images we can reference so we understand that Heaven, or being eternally with God, will be more magnificent than anything we could imagine, and Hell, or being eternally separated from God, will be more horrible than anything we could begin to comprehend.
Knowing that everyone will die one day and knowing the fate of those who die without accepting Christ, should be all the motivation a child of God needs to do everything they can to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with those people God puts in our path each day who are lost and without hope. Don't let satan distract you from this mission. The enemy gets us so bound up in our man made divisions, squabbles over doctrinal and theological issues, that we forget the Gospel and that there are people dying and spending eternity separated from God EVERY DAY! Let us stay focused and never forget our most important job each day is to share the hope and love of Christ with the lost in this world.
I love you and care about you so much. I know the issue of death is not one that many people enjoy hearing about. But it is important for us to deal with death since it is an event we will all have to face one day. Death is not something we should fear, but realize it is part of this human experience. For the child of God, it is actually an event we should be looking forward to. Paul said to be "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." For the child of God death means our work in this life is over and we are onto our eternal home and rewards. The Bible tells us that there will be "no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
I pray today that you will treat each day as the gift from God that it is and make the most of it. I pray that you will realize God has a plan and purpose for your life, and that is to serve and glorify Him with each day that He blesses you with. Let me share this word with you today. If you are in your teens, God has something for you to do for HIM today. If you are a young adult in your 20's and 30's, God has something for you to do for HIM today. If you are middle aged, in your 40's and 50's, God has something for you to do for HIM today. If you in your 60's or older, God has something for you to do for HIM today. No matter how old you are, what state you are in, GOD HAS SOMETHING FOR YOU TO DO FOR HIM TODAY!!!
Let me leave you with these words of victory today. The prophet Hosea said, "Where O death, is your victory? Where O death, is your sting?" Paul in His first letter to the church at Corinth gives the child of God the ultimate answer to death in chapter 15 verse 57 which is my personal life verse, "BUT THANKS BE TO GOD WHO GIVES US THE VICTORY THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST."